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A Woman Mayoral Frontrunner Like Yang? Not a Chance

'NYT' columnist: Men enjoy perception of being a 'visionary' that's often belied by actual experience
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2021 8:44 AM CDT

(Newser) – With primaries for the New York City mayoral race set for June, three hopefuls have ascended the Democrats' list, according to recent polling: Comptroller Scott Stringer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and, at the very top, businessman and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Writing for the New York Times, Michelle Goldberg notes there are also multiple well-qualified Democratic women vying to move in to Gracie Mansion, including the progressive Maya Wiley and respected crisis-management pro Kathryn Garcia, but, as Goldberg puts it: "There could never be a female Andrew Yang." That's because New Yorkers have expressed a desire for "a unifier" and "a visionary" to next lead the Big Apple—and "unfortunately, women are rarely seen as visionaries," Goldberg notes.

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She cites research showing that even though women's accomplishments are seriously considered and respected, men are often given positive consideration not only based on their achievements, but on what people think they might potentially do in the future. "Women can be workhorses, but rarely wunderkinds," Goldberg writes. And at a time when New York City residents seem especially disillusioned with city government, experience may not be able to trump the more vague promise of a high-profile candidate like Yang, who possibly appears more "inspired," as men more often are, per researchers. "Male candidates can embody possibility and run as repositories for people's diffuse hopes," Goldberg notes. "Women usually have to pay their dues." More from her here. (Read more Andrew Yang stories.)

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